Healer kills ill girl by electric shock

Persuaded parents that he can cure their mentally ill daughter

Saudi police have arrested a Quran reciter who practices medicine by reading Quran verses on patients after killing a mentally ill girl by subjecting her to repeated electric shocks, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

It was the latest in a series of serious offences by Raqis (Quran reciters) in Saudi Arabia, which said last week it would toughen laws governing such a profession and enhance law enforcement team assigned with monitoring Raqis.

Okaz said the Raqi from the central province of Al Qassim was treating the unnamed girl, whose age was not revealed, at the request of her parents, adding that he used electric shocks on her after persuading them that he can cure her.

“The girl’s family requested the Raqi’s help to treat their daughter and he used electric shocks, alleging that this would help her, but she died during to this treatment,” said Lt Col Fahd Al Habdan, spokesman of Al Qassim Police.

The 50-year-old man Raqi, whose name was not released by the police, was taken into police custody for investigation, Okaz reported.

Since last August. the Raqi had subjected the girl to electric shocks, in the presence of her parents at the district’s mosque, the paper said, adding that the parents did not object to the ‘harsh’ treatment.

It quoted Saleh Al Debaibi, a local lawyer, as saying the Raqi must be punished for his crime and for claiming to have the ability to treat people by giving them electric shocks. “The Raqi was supposed to treat people by reciting verses of the Holy Qur’an only as instructed by the Prophet’s Sunnah.”

Police have repeatedly warned against unlicensed practitioners of Ruqya claiming to treat people. “They would only start meddling with patient’s bodies without a Shariah, legal and health justification,” Habdan said.

Last week, Saudi authorities reported the arrest of a Raqi after catching him in an obscene act with a woman at his house.

Members of the feared Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice seized the 40-year-old Raqi at his house in the southwestern town of Khamis Masheet. Newspapers said they caught him in an obscene position with a woman inside the room set for his presumed treatment activity.

In another incident, police said they had arrested a female Raqi who claims she can restore lost virginity for girls by simply inhaling burning incense.

The unidentified woman had lured many girls into her house in Makkah and made them inhale burning acacia wood.

“We have arrested this woman because her activities are mere deception and have no medical basis,” said Abdul Rahman Al Ruwais, head of the Arab Medicine Section at Health Department in Makkah. “We have handed her over to the concerned authorities to take the necessary measures against her.”

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